CITY OF MALOLOS- In memory of a great dancer and teacher who spent most of her life fostering the art of dance to Bulakenyo students, the Provincial Government of Bulacan through the Provincial History, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office gave tribute to the late Jovita Espenida-Meneses, a Natatanging Alagad ng Sining sa Sayaw in a program held at the Nicanor Abelardo Auditorium, Hiyas ng Bulacan Sentrong Pangkultura in this city yesterday.
Fondly called by her students as “Inang”, Meneses, a Bulacan State University instructor, founded and led the BulSU Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Troupe (LKDT) that serves as an inspiration to folk dance groups not only in the province but in the whole country.
Various dance troupes in the province including Bulacan Agricultural State College Liping Tagalog Folkloric Group, Hiyas ng Hagonoy Folkloric Group, Iba National High School Dance Troupe, Indak Guiguintenyo, Sining Bulakenyo, Sta. Cruz Elementary School Troupe, and the BulSU LKDT performed their best folk dance pieces to give honor to their late Inang.
Governor Daniel R. Fernando admired Meneses’ excellence in dancing that she did not keep for herself but shared and passed on to her students, which the governor appealed to be passed on to the coming generation as well.
“Sa kanyang pagtatag ng BulSU Lahing Kayumanggi, nakalikha siya ng isang komunidad kung saan malayang nasasaliksik, napapaunlad at naipamamalas ang pagmamahal sa sining ng pagsasayaw ng mga kabataan. Sa mahabang panahon ng kanyang pagtuturo ay naihubog niya hindi lamang ang galaw at indak ng kanyang mga mag-aaral, lalong higit ay naitimo niya ang kanilang disiplina, pagpapahalaga at tiwala sa sarili,” the governor said.
Meanwhile, Meneses’ first cousin Miriam Roxas-Kho recalled how her cousin never wanted to leave the Philippines even though her family insisted because of her deep love for her profession and for her dance students.
“On behalf of our whole family, lubos po ang aming pasasalamat at kasiyahan ng aming mga puso sa inyong pagpapahalaga sa kanyang buhay, sa kanyang naitulong sa kultura ng sayaw. Ang buong pamilya po namin ay nagpapasalamat sa pagmamahal na pinapakita po ninyo sa kanya, sa tribute na ito. Hindi po namin ito makakalimutan,” Roxas-Kho said.